Ch7 – Skyrocketing Popularity
The three packages were sent out and Ruan Tang stretched his arms. Ruan Tang ate the potato and beef belly noodles while counting his money in the rapidly filling account.
The stench of money seemed to make the already delicious dish even more delicious.
As Ruan Tang didn’t have the habit of surfing the star network and since his body was still weak and needed rest, Ruan Tang headed to bed early. Because of this, he missed a not so insignificant incident that was related to him.
7 in the evening was when the star network was at its busiest.
At this time a new post had attracted the attention of the netizens.
“@Xia Mi v: Super delicious potato and beef belly noodles [picture] [picture](video link), and the best fish I’ve ever tasted, (video link).”
–The goddess has posted a new food critique!
Qiu Lin was your standard foodie. Although her family was only a little well-off and she also usually drank nutrient solutions, it did not detract her from her desire for natural food ingredients. The tasteless nutrient solution and the real food taste were simply incomparable. The broadcasts on the live platform allowed her to taste delicious food without spending money and from then on, she fell deeper in love with the taste of natural ingredients.
She followed a large number of food anchors, and also watched them to taste the dishes of many star-rated restaurants. Although it was only holographic data, it also turned her into a semi-“natural food expert”. It was just that no matter how many restaurants she went to or how much food she tasted, she always felt it was missing something.
However, if she stated this opinion, she would definitely be ridiculed by others. They would say that drinking so much nutrient solutions must have ruined her sense of taste. Not until she followed Xia Mi’s Weibo was she finally allowed to feel proud and elated.
She wasn’t the only one who thought so, even the Flower of the Empire, Xia Mi thought so!
Known as the Flower of the Empire, Xia Mi was not only outstanding in appearance, but her talent was also at the top of the empire. Not to mention her excellent family history, she also had a huge network of contacts, and a sharp and straightforward personality.
As the daughter of Xia Sen, the Imperial Mech master, Xia Mi inherited her father’s talents and skills perfectly. At a young age, she had already designed S-class mechs. It was a talent worthy of being regarding as the elite of the very elite. In recent years, because her fiancé Bai Che was the vice president of the Academy of Sciences, she often shared developments related to natural ingredients.
Because of her excellent family background, she often went to various high-end restaurants. She had a sharp tongue in more ways than one. She often went out on Weibo to comment on the menu of the restaurants. Her exaggerations were few but her curses were many. All her critiques had a point which made people unable to refute. Because of this many star-rated chefs both hated and loved her.
However, the netizens were obviously very interested in her comments. By now, she was already a food critic with millions of fans.
Nevertheless, today, Xia Mi, who was universally acknowledge as a difficult person to wait upon, gave unprecedented praise upon these two dishes. Moreover, one of the dishes used the newly released potato ingredient together with beef to make this yet unknown “noodle”. And the other dish was the infamously unpalatable fish. It made the people suspect that their goddess had somehow been stolen away!
Thinking this way, Qiu Lin still couldn’t help her curiosity and opened the video link.
“Good morning, everyone. I’m your anchor, Ruan Tang. Today I will be making fresh fish congee and green scallion egg cakes….”
Compared to the other popular anchors that she followed, the popularity of this live room was so pitiful. Bored, she leaned against the cooking table while supporting her head to see his movements.
The anchor took out the fish in an ordinary way, and pressed it to the cutting board in an ordinary way. He held the knife in an ordinary way… What was he doing? !
She was so scared that she jumped in fright. She felt her stomach churn at that scene where the fish was cut open and had its guts pulled out. She couldn’t bear to watch such a cruel and meaningless killing. She frowned and pulled the progress bar a long distance forward.
This cruel sadism, how could you possibly make something delicious from that? She thought evilly, I will never eat a fish that has been treated so badly! For love and peace!
“Well, let’s try the fish porridge together. First eat the egg cake and then the congee. It can remove the grease from eating the egg cake. It will feel really refreshing.”
This stinky pervert really knows how to lie! What taste?
Qiu Lin’s expression suddenly froze.
As the anchor opened the lid, the live room quickly filled with a mellow aroma, and the hot steam evaporated from the pot’s surface. The rice’s aroma was mixed with a hint of meaty deliciousness and there was no stinky smell at all.
She couldn’t help but swallow a mouthful of saliva.
Then, with a trembling hand she reached out to the bowl of fish congee, and quickly turned away from the love and peace that she swore to defend.
After about an hour, the comments under this Weibo post exploded.
[@cc:! ! ! ! ! Mom asked me why I crying while watching a video]
[@Gold coins fall down: I think… I just went a little crazy, even though those things can’t be swallowed, I was still desperately stuffing my mouth…]
[@February 15: At the commenter above, trust me, you’re normal, ok? I even licked the empty bowl after…]
[@Mo family’s jade: The anchor’s skills were super good! Following! ]
[@Gold coins fall down: Following +1, this anchor’s skill are simply godlike! No one has ever done it before, and the chef association has had so many more talents! Is it a secretly trained five-star chef? ! ]
While desperately guessing the identity of the mysterious newcomer anchor, and they even though that he might be a secret weapon from the chef association, everyone in the chef association was watching the broadcast recording with a dignified look.
But compared to the excitement of the netizens, their faces were much more composed.
“We have managed to find out how to cook potatoes, but this anchor stole a march from under us! And his method was more high-level than ours! What can you say about this?” The middle-aged man sitting at the head of the table looked sullen and atop his lips was a dense, dark mustache, which make him look all the more tyrannical and gloomy.
His gaze swept across the room, and saw that everyone had his head bowed, not daring to say anything. He couldn’t help but sneer. “You still claim to be the best chefs of the empire… Oh, using the association’s hefty R & D funds, but even this mere boy who showed up from who knows where is better than you! Excellent! Truly excellent!”
His hands slammed down on the table, his mustache trembled in anger: “Tomorrow the Academy will introduce a new ingredient. That will be our chance! Within a week, you will give me a satisfactory result. or…”
“get him to stop his broadcasts!”
At the same time, the headquarters of the First Army once again received a package for Adjutant Li.
Li Kai learned to be smart this time. After he received the express delivery from the security department, he went straight to the reception room on the second floor. The military seldom used it, so this reception room was now almost considered to be their lounge. At noon, some soldiers who brought natural food from home would sneak up and chitchat while sharing food.
At this hour the mealtime had already finished earlier, and those little whelps would have already gone to training. In the entire army he was the only one who was strolling about at this hour. The marshal loathed the smell of natural food so he would never appear here. Here was where he would finish up his prize. He’d then take a stroll around before heading back. It would be flawless!
Thinking about it, Li Kai’s face showed a faint smile and he hastened his pace even more.
Holding the preservation box in one hand, he pulled the door wide open!
A strong aroma instantly rushed over and he looked up. Marshal He was seated at the conference table, facing him. Sharp eagle eyes pierced right through him.
Both of Li Kai’s hands trembled. Out of conditioned reflex, he immediately thought of apologizing, but he then spotted an exquisite lunch box in front of the marshal.
There was a golden rose engraved on the lunch box, which was the symbol of the empire’s most exclusive restaurant, the Rose Restaurant. The chefs in this restaurant were all three-star or above chefs from the chef association. The appearance was extremely luxurious. Even if he only ordered the cheapest meal there, he’d have to spend more than half of his monthly salary. Open to the influential bigwigs and the royal family, ordinary people even very rich ones wouldn’t necessarily be able to go.
But in the face of such fine and luxurious food, He Yun Chen’s brow was tightly furrowed, and upon taking a closer look, his face looked slightly pale.
Li Kai exclaimed and immediately rushed to close the lid of the high-end lunch box. He then opened the ventilation function in the room to drive out the smell. After doing this, he turned back to the marshal, a hint of worry on his face.
As the marshal’s adjutant for more than a decade, Li Kai’s understanding of the marshal was possibly even more profound than his understanding of himself.
The marshal has never ever allowed anyone to present natural food before him. His opposition to natural food could practically be called die-hard obstinacy. Lord knows how many people out there have disliked him because of his unreasonableness and overbearing ego.
However, Li Kai knew that the marshal was not inhuman, but this thing was like poison for him.
It would be simpler if it were “anorexia”, but the situation of the marshal was a little different. Because his five senses were too strong, not only could he taste the inscrutable subtle bitterness in some of the foods but also the faint odors that were not cleaned up. Even more troublesome, it would cause a brief but strong expelling reaction from his body.
If it were to happen on the battlefield, it could simply be deadly!
Moreover, he was the empire’s war good. He bears that honor, but also bears the corresponding responsibility of this honor.
The imperial war god can’t have weaknesses, and they can’t be such ridiculous and fatal weaknesses.
Therefore, the marshal had always hidden this weakness very well, and dared not let anyone know. Even if he were to be criticized as lacking true understanding of ancient wisdom, he absolutely wouldn’t yield.
What Li Kai couldn’t understand though was how Marshal He who had always kept away from natural food suddenly decided to have a taste.
He Yun Chen got out of his uncomfortable state and the paleness of his face faded. He returned to his usual cold look, but his brow was still wrinkled.
He slowly said: “I didn’t feel this way about the egg cake from yesterday.”
Li Kai immediately understood. The marshal didn’t understand why the egg cake yesterday didn’t cause him any adverse reaction. The marshal thought that his aversion to natural ingredients had improved, so today he ordered a meal at a fine restaurant to verify it.
However, he obviously failed.
…Perhaps, maybe it was that anchor’s cooking that did it.
Li Kai thought that even he whose tongue wasn’t particularly sensitive could tell between the dishes from the broadcast and the dishes from fine dining restaurants. Perhaps, this specialist could be the one to save their marshal?
Li Kai’s grip on the package tightened. He felt that the beef noodles in his hands had turned into lifesaving medicine for their marshal. It suddenly weighed more than a thousand pounds!
He Yun Chen had largely accepted the facts and said, “I asked today and the egg cake from yesterday wasn’t sent by the chef association. I misunderstood, sorry. But I’ve already eaten something you bought. How much was it, I will transfer the payment to you.”
“Marshal, I don’t want the money!” Li Kai said, “I didn’t spend any money on the egg cake. Since you like it, just eat it.”
For many years, the marshal had always treated every soldier in the army as his brother. He always looked reserved and his expression was fierce and inflexible, Lord knows how many new recruits were scared to the point that they didn’t even dare to breathe too loudly in his presence. But after being with him for a long time, they all knew exactly what type of person the marshal was.
There were no cannon fodders, no suicide squads. Every time they fought a battle, he would always take the lead. How many times has he turned the tide of battle because he was unwilling to leave even a single soldier behind?
Those who had fallen into disability from battle, or had to retire or fell into dire straits because they were down on their luck — all of them were provided with financial support by the marshal. All so that these soldiers who were willing to bleed for the empire could lead a decent life.
The good that the marshal has shown them were deeply engraved in their hearts.
He placed the potato and beef belly noodles in front of the marshal and wasn’t afraid to be punished. He said, “Actually, I also have some today. Both of them were made by the same person. Won’t you try this potato and beef belly noodles? If by any chance, you can…”
He peeked at He Yun Chen’s face and slowly opened the lid of the preservation box. If the marshal’s face turned even the slightest bit off then he would immediately cover the lid.
However, even until he had completely uncovered the box, the marshal still didn’t react, his face was actually a bit rosier.
He handed over a pair of chopsticks, “Have a taste?”
He Yun Chen didn’t decline. This is the first time he had felt this way, no, counting the egg cake from yesterday, this would be the second time.
The peculiar smell belonging to natural foods was submerged in this dense rich aroma. His body felt none of the terrible rejection reaction, instead it even felt more filled with strength. Having been accustomed to the peculiar smell of other meals and the nutrient enhanced but tasteless meals, in the face of such utterly delicious fragrance, the marshal even felt a bit of helplessness.
He picked up some noodles, and the reddish brown sauce rolled down the noodles. He put everything in his mouth and it was filled with a fresh taste.
So this was how food felt like against the tongue!
“May I ask…who made this?”
He Yun Chen had only taken a couple mouthfuls before putting down the chopsticks and turning back to Li Kai. In his mind, since the Chefs’ Association didn’t have this chef and the other party had sent these dishes to Li Kai, it must be someone from Li Kai’s family who made this.
However, Li Kai scratched the back of his head and his face showed a slightly embarrassed smile, “It was from…a star network anchor.”
He Yun Chen’s eyebrows rose in surprise, “A star network anchor?” His eyes fell on Li Kai. “It seems that I need to reflect on this. It seems that I haven’t give your enough assignments?”
“No, not at all…this was probably just the workings of fate.” Li Kai promptly smiled apologetically, “Otherwise how could I have found this anchor and introduced his food to the marshal?”
“Um, marshal…could you perhaps…deal with this offender leniently?”
He Yun Chen smile a smile that was yet not a smile, and said, “This is not to be repeated.”
“Yes, yes, of course!” Surprisingly he was let off so easily. Li Kai’s heart suddenly relaxed. Li Kai opened the star network and searched for the anchor’s personal channel. “It was this anchor. Ruan Tang, channel number R21314.”
He Yun Chen softly nodded. His eyes fell on this name and the color in his eyes deepened.
On this night, the number of fans in Ruan Tang’s personal channel had skyrocketed again at an unprecedented rate. Countless users flocked there, whether for the food or for some sinister motives, they were all hidden in this fan army with no way to distinguish one from the other.